- Main article: Guru Nanak Dev
Text for children
Nanak was born into a Hindu family. His father's name was Mehta Kalu and his mother's name was Mata Tripta. He had one older sister Bibi Nanaki. From childhood, Bibi Nanki recognised that her younger brother was special and saw in him the Light of God. She is known as the first follower (disciple) of Guru Nanak.
Guru Nanak worked for a Muslim as he grew up so he learned about the Muslim religion too. Eventually he became a religious teacher, teaching about a new faith using ideas from both Hinduism and Islam. This new religion, called Sikhism, was based on one God, on the equality of all human beings and always doing good deeds. Nanak travelled far and wide to teach about the new religion, he wrote hymns about his beliefs. He became known as a "Guru". His most famous hymn (Shabad) is the Japji, which Sikhs say at dawn each day.
The Sikh faith was started because Guru Nanak realised that people were losing sight of God in their lives and were practising greed and superstition. He set out a list of new rules to bring people closer to God. These were based on the fact that there is only one God, responsible for all and that all people are equal and should have equal opportunities.
Three of the most important teachings of Nanak are known as nam simran, kirt karo, and wand chako. (These are quoted on the family page as well.)
- Think about God. ("Listening to the name gives truth, holy wisdom, contentment... by listening to the Name, sorrow and sin are destroyed." Guru Nanak)
- Live a normal householder's life.
- Earn a living through honest means and hard work.
- Share with the needy whatever you can spare. Treat all men and women as equals regardless of nationalities, religions or creed.
A simple breakdown of his teaching is:
- There is only one God.
- We should worship and pray to God and no-one else.
- Work hard and help others.
- Be honest and truthful at all times.
- Everyone is equal in the eyes of God, there is no rich, poor, male, female, black nor white for God. The only difference between people is in their actions. Only Good actions matter.
- Be kind to all; birds, animals and people.
- Fear nothing apart from God, pray for the good of all.
- Be simple, truthful and honest in your daily life.
Before he died, Nanak told his most trusted follower, Lehna, that he must be the next guru. Lehna was given the name Guru Angad.
Above article based on article at: atschool.eduweb.co.uk